Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP

January 27, 2016, 11:25 AM

The Natural Resources Board approved the proposed amendment to Blue Mound State Park, which includes some much needed MTB trail realignments and the completion of the Pokerville Trail loop.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to those who spoke or submitted written comments in support of the CORP trail proposal.  To summarize, our proposal was largely adopted. Over Lode Trail will continue to exist as a loop. We have promised to make extensive changes to accommodate the DNR's concerns with sustainability and proximity to endangered animals. The trail will be a little shorter overall. Trail steepness (grade) will be significantly flattened. Still a lot of vertical, but more spread out. Trail construction professionals will be hired and given encouragement to build some fun stuff. We will also be allowed to build Pokerville as we proposed, but work will have to be delayed until higher priority improvements have been undertaken to the satisfaction of the DNR. There is some additional work that needs to be completed for Holy Schist, too.

The Friends of Blue Mound State Park have agreed to fund the Beginner Loop rebuild and some critical machine work in Pleasure Valley. These are the number one and two priorities.  We will attempt to find funding for doing as much of this as possible by trail professionals.

The approved amendment also includes the snowmobile route through the park.  While not an ideal outcome for us, it is even less so for the Friends, fat bikers, snowshoers, and skiiers.  We are, however, hopeful that the impact on silent sports will be minimized by responsible implementation by the DNR, and that the snowmobilers using the park will be courteous.  Like it or not, snowmobiling is now a part of the recreational use of the park, and it's in our best interests to get along with them.

For more information, head over to the January 2016 NRB meeting agenda, and watch the webcast.